Worried that Everyone Will Find Out You’re Really Not Supposed to be Here?

It’s going to happen, sooner or later.

They’re going to figure out that you’re not supposed to be here.  It’s all a fluke. 

Who do you think you are?

Even if you can hide who you are, someone will throw you off your game; you won’t be able to make the right decisions to stay where you are or, to get further.

Everyone else is  smarter, faster, and more talented than you.”

 

Sound familiar?

 

If you’re like me, you’ve experienced imposter syndrome at some point in your career.

 

Imposter syndrome isn’t new.

 

In 1978, psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes defined imposter syndrome  as a feeling of “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.”

They went on to say that people who suffer from imposter syndrome “are highly motivated to achieve,” they also “live in fear of being ‘found out’ or exposed as frauds.

 

If you’re still reading this, I’m guessing you’ve felt this way before.

 

Why does it happen?

Lots of reasons, including low self-esteem, perfectionism, procrastination, inaccurately assessing your abilities, setting unreasonable personal standards, etc. etc.

 

So what do you do about it?

Imposter syndrome isn’t fun, but you can move through it. Here’s what’s helped me;

 

1.) Recognize you’re not alone. 

Imposter syndrome doesn’t play favorites. It affects men and women of all positions.  Even “confident” people struggle with feeling “not good enough”.

2.) Pay attention.

Being able to anticipate where and when you’re most likely to experience imposter syndrome will help you prepare for how you’re going to show up, react to the unexpected and deal with successes and failures.

4.) Ditch perfectionism.

No one, and I mean NO ONE, get’s it right every time.  You’re going to mess up, make mistakes and fail. Perfect people don’t exist.

5.)  Make friends with failure.

Are you going to feel bad when you fail?  Yep.

Do you need to let it stop you? Nope.

Failing leads to procrastination.  Imposter syndrome feeds off of procrastination.  Don’t let it.   Keep working, even if you’re feeling sore about something that didn’t work.

6.) Repeat steps 1-5

As with any skill, moving past imposter syndrome into confidence will take time and practice. The more you do it, the better you will become.

 

You aren’t going to get over it in a single day.  You’re going to have good days and bad days.  The goal is to get through the bad days better, faster and stronger than you did before.

 

You’re not an imposter, you’re you.

 

When have you experienced imposter syndrome in your career/life?   Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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